Site Map 
compiled by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter



Spending Charts   also: Revenue Charts  Debt Charts  Deficit Charts  


This page shows the current trends in US Local Government spending. There are also charts on US Local Government spending history. See also: Social Security Spending and Medicare Spending

Recent and Estimated* US Local Government Spending

Spending in billions

Click chart for briefing on Entitlement Spending.
For numbers and more click here.

Spending in Percent GDP

Click chart for briefing on Entitlement Spending.
For numbers and more click here.

The two charts show above show recent and "guesstimated" direct spending for local governments in the United States. On the left is a chart of spending in current dollars. On the right is a chart of spending as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


* Local Spending after 2010 is estimated.

US Local Government Spending Since 1900

Click chart for briefing on Local Government Spending.
For numbers from 1900-2019 click here.

Local government began the 20th century as the largest sector of government, spending 4 percent of GDP. It continued this growth in the next three decades, reaching 8 percent of GDP in 1940. World War II cut a big hole in local government budgets and local spending did not exceed 8 percent of GDP again until the 1960s. Since the 1960s local government spending has steadily increased, reaching almost 11 percent of GDP in the 2010s.

Federal, State, Local Spending in 20th Century

Click chart for briefing on Total Spending.
For numbers from 1900-2018 click here.

At the start of the 20th century, government spending was principally local government spending. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 4 percent was spent at the local level. Federal spending spiked in World War I, but in the 1920s, local government still represented about half of all government spending. In the 1930s this changed, and federal spending surged to about half of all government spending. After the spike of World War II the federal share increased again and state government spending also began to increase as a percent of GDP, so that by the 2010s federal spending checked in at over 20 percent of GDP, state spending amounted to 8 to 9 percent of GDP and local spending exceeded 10 percent of GDP.

Top Spending Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

Get WELFARE stats and history.

US BUDGET overview and pie chart.


See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

MILITARY SPENDING details, budget and history.


See BAR CHARTS of spending, debt.

See PIE CHARTS of total spending, federal spending.

Check STATE spending: CA NY TX FL and compare.


Take a COURSE at Spending 101.

Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

Spending Data Sources

Spending data is from official government sources.
  Federal data since 1962 comes from the president’s budget.
  All other spending data comes from the US Census Bureau.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and

Detailed table of spending data sources here.

Federal spending data begins in 1792.

State and local spending data begins in 1890.

State and local spending data for individual states begins in 1957.

Spending 101 Courses

Spending | Federal Debt | Revenue | Defense | Welfare | Healthcare | Education
Debt History | Entitlements | Deficits | State Spending | State Taxes | State Debt

There’s More...

Where you go to get facts about government.

Prepared by Christopher Chantrill.

Click the image on the right to buy’s ebook.
It costs only $0.99 and it contains all the analyses of spending history
on the website and more.

There’s much, much more:


Site Search

Win Cash for Bugs

File a valid bug report and get a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Next Data Update

> State Quarterly Taxes FY14

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2009_2019:

Sources for 2009:

GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances

Sources for 2019:

GDP, GO: See GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
Guesstimated” by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

State FY14 Tax Update

On September 27, 2014 updated FY2014 state revenue with quarterly tax data from the US Census Bureau.  Local tax data was updated by assuming that local taxes for 2014 changed by the same percent as state taxes of the same type.

The following table shows "guesstimated" US state and local total revenue before and after the change.

$ billion
FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015

Spend links

us numbersus budgetcustom chartdeficit/gdpspend/gdpdebt/gdpus gdpus real gdpstate gdpbreakdownfederalstatelocal200920102011californiatexas

Masthead was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

Email here.

presented by Christopher Chantrill
Data Sources  •  Contact